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12 Traits of Successful Bloggers

traits successful bloggers

I was just doing an interview on an Aussie radio station and was asked to name some traits of successful bloggers. My initial reaction was to giggle – because no two successful bloggers are the same – however as I began to answer I realized that there are some common traits among bloggers who gain popularity. Here’s a list, presented in no particular order, of some of the traits of successful bloggers that I observe:

1. Creative and Playful

PlayfulnessOne of the things I love about blogging is that it can be a very playful space. Bloggers who find new ways to communicate old truths and that have the ability to surprise their readers with fresh perspectives and means of communication often find themselves on a fast track to a wide readership. Also, in the midst of ‘playful’ experimentation new discoveries come that help a blogger to develop in maturity and influence in their niche.

Image by Yelnoc

“There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.” – Edward de Bono

2. Innovative

InnovationOften ‘innovative’ is used to describe a blogger’s use of technology – but it goes well beyond this. Innovative bloggers are those that are able to extend and explore their topic in ways that others are not. They are thought leaders and forge into new ground not only in the way that they present in what they say.

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs

3. Connectors

ConnectedMost successful bloggers that I’ve interacted with have an insatiable desire to connect with as many people as they can. They have an ability to connect not only with their readers but other bloggers and key people in both the online and offline world. Their networks are often far reaching – enabling them to draw on all kinds of relationships when needed.

“It’s not what you know but who you know that makes the difference.” – Anonymous

4. Community Enablers

CommunityThere are many blogs with great information – but it’s those that are able to draw in and build up a community of passionate and energetic people that often go to the next level. Readers are no longer satisfied just to consume content – they want to participate and belong online. Successful bloggers don’t always actively participate in or lead the community aspect of their blogs but they do have an ability to attract other community builders and to empower them to build a community around the content on the blog.

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” – Jane Howard

5. Information Mavens

MavenSuccessful bloggers are often quite addicted to the gathering of information. What sets them apart from other information gatherers is their ability to filter the vast quantities of information that they collect and to identify and communicate that which applies to others.

Image by dsevilla

“What sets Mavens apart, though, is not so much what they know but how they pass it along. The fact that Mavens want to help, for no other reason than because they like to help, turns out to be an awfully effective way of getting someone’s attention.” Malcolm Gladwell (Tipping Point).

6. Communicators

CommunicatorSome might think that this point is all about bloggers having the ability to write well – but that is only part of being a good communicator. Successful bloggers have a knack of knowing connecting with readers that goes beyond the way they use words. Good communication has more to do with knowing your audience and connecting with their needs and desires. Successful bloggers have the ability to trigger some sort of response in their reader.

“The two words ‘Information’ and ‘Communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.” – Sydney J. Harris

7. Interest

InterestedBloggers know how to be interesting – but being interesting starts with being interested. Most successful bloggers that I’ve met would blog on their chosen topic for free – because they have some kind of passion or interest in it themselves. This energy that they have for their topic shines through and is infectious to others. It’s one of the main reasons that readers are drawn to them.

“There are two levers for moving men: interest and fear.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

8. Entrepreneurs

EntrepreneurSuccessful bloggers are always on the look out for opportunities to go to the next level. They leverage what they currently have to grow something more. They don’t just rely upon others to make their dreams a reality but are self starters and ‘doers’ that go and get what they want.

“The entrepreneur in us sees opportunities everywhere we look, but many people see only problems everywhere they look. The entrepreneur in us is more concerned with discriminating between opportunities than he or she is with failing to see the opportunities.” – Michael Gerber

9. Originality

OriginalityIt is difficult to be unique in the blogging space but successful bloggers find ways to make what they do stand out from the crowd. They develop a distinct voice, use media in different ways and develop their own unique spin on life that sets them apart from the rest.

“Eveyone is a genius at least once a year. A real genius has his original ideas closer together.” – Georg C. Lichtenberg

10. Perseverance

StickabilitySuccessful bloggers know that it takes time to grow a blog and look past those initial awkward months (and longer) after a blog is launched to motivate them to persevere. They do know when to give up when something isn’t working but also have an ability to develop their blog’s with focus and discipline and unswerving conviction over the long haul.

“If at first you don’t succeed, get a bigger hammer.” – Alan Lewis

11. Focus

Focus-1What strikes me about many of the most successful blogs out there is that in a time where there’s an incredible development of new technology happening that many of them don’t allow themselves to get distracted by it. Yes they experiment and play with new ways of delivering content to readers but they don’t become distracted from their core task of producing useful and engaging content for readers. Being able to identify what matters most and sticking to it is so important – particularly in a medium with so many time sucking distractions.

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” – Swami Vivekananda

12. Curiosity

CuriosityLastly, one of the traits that I see in many great bloggers is a restlessness and a dissatisfaction with the current state of play in their world/blog/industry. They are not content to sit comfortably but are always exploring, pushing boundaries and experimenting. They are curious people who are always asking ‘what if….?’ – a question that leads to all kinds of discoveries and possibilities that the rest of us could only dream of discovering.

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Great information- especially for aspiring writers and bloggers like myself.
    This gave me affirmation that I’m on the right track!

  2. I was trying to choose a favorite point, but they are all so good, I can’t decide, but #5 – Information mavens caught me eye, as I love to research..

  3. Another great list, Darrren. I made my own list around half a year ago. Although I only listed 5 traits, I am happy most of them were here in your list.

    However, I wish I could add a trait from my list that I see in you, but you did not include here in your list – Generosity.

    It’s your being generous that I like most. Your unselfish way of sharing of information is what makes you big to me. This is what other experts do not realize. If they share free information, many will learn from them.

    These bloggers who learned a lot will spread the word and the expert’s name will of course be shared too. That’s simple logic but only few understands it.


  4. I really like this post. Im currently experiencing writers block in my blogs and this helps put things in perspective

  5. A good, at a glance list. Thanks Darren.

    I would just like to add one more thought. You’ve got to love what you do.
    I suppose the general term would be “passion”! Sure your passion will come through in your writing, but it is your passion that will keep you plugging away when no one is coming back, no one is commenting, and no one is linking to you. :-)

  6. Great tips for full time bloggers. But for part time bloggers, it’s not easy to do it especially trait number 11 “Focus”.

  7. Just as I am losing steam to go on with blogging, I read this. Thanks to you, I just realized I could be better by developing the traits I have that you have written here.

  8. This is really great information. Always a good read with these posts. I really enjoy your input Darren, Thanks. I believe reading your blog has already helped me in the ways I look at my existence in the blogosphere.


  9. Great points, Darren.

    Regarding point 3, it’s not who you know or even who knows you. It’s who knows what you know.

  10. I agree you must have strong focus and provide your readers a reason to read your blog. You must be a maven of information with the ability to communicate this info among your network. It takes time and perseverance and most will not make it through the initial months, but for those who do the rewards are great.

  11. I guess #5 explains why there are so many librarian bloggers! :)

  12. u rule my world !

  13. Great list, I can see many of my traits there. I’ll take that as a sign of good things yet to come! Thanks for the insight!

  14. Along with Steve Pavlina , you are my inspiration.. :)

  15. Darren, you are da man! Excellent post! Don’t worry I already tagged it in del.icio.us and gave it a thumps up in Stumble Upon. Keep em coming!

  16. Wow! I keep trying to think of another great trait but you’ve covered them all.

  17. Thanks for that post. I am new to blogging and your post has made me realize my posts are too dry and too much like an article submission. I will follow your advice.


  18. being passionate about your topic is one of the most important factors i have ever seen

    it is so obvious when someone is putting their heart and soul into a blog. their proximity to the subject and expertise are conveyed easily via multiple aspects, and you delight in subscribing to their feed in order to see what relevant issues they will address next

    thanks again for the great tips Darren :)

  19. Great information. Nice to know that I am somewhat on the right track – Nards

  20. Darren — These are awesome. I think we all know this intuitively but seeing it on paper, printing it out (in my case!), is a different experience. Thanks!

  21. very good advice, thanks, I will try these myself

  22. I really enjoyed this post! I have two blogs, a personal blog on blogger (http://tbkksmom.blogspot.com), and a business blog on WordPress (http://marylutzprovbs.com). I don’t have time to read every article you write (I wish I did!) but the ones that I have read are very useful and I have used some of the tips on my blogs. I am just starting my Virtual Assistant business and really interested in making money from my blogs as well.

    Thanks again for the great tips!

  23. I totally agree on those traits. As a blogger myself, I try to practice those traits to better myself in blogging not only for myself but also for the information others are seeking.

  24. Very good points and patience is the key – thank you for sharing!

  25. Fantastic Darren,
    Really good points, and what i love is how you have presented this post, the images make each point stand out so well

  26. Fantastic post! I think focus and daily posting to your blog will take you a long way.Work on linking is also important.Original ideas are also important, but so difficult these days with so much competition.

  27. I was completely encroached upon by the contents of this entry.

    Not only were the twelve suggestions thought provoking, but also appeared to be practical.

    Great read!

  28. Great list. To me, it’s largely about communication and business, but curiosity is a major fuel to the fire of good writing.

    My latest post is all about curiosity, how to get it, how it multiplies, and how it can help you see unexpected connections in the world around you. It’s a quality sometimes overlooked, but important nonetheless – and life-giving for a writer.

    -The Academic Eccentric

  29. Darren, I don’t comment here a lot, but I wanted to say that this post is spot on. It’s uncanny. ALL of these are requirements to do well with blogging. I’m weak on point #1, I think, and it’s something I’m working on…

  30. Thanks for the great tips. Some excellent insight into something new to many of us.

    Looking forward to trudging along, figuring things out!

  31. Great post! I hadn’t considered some of them. More to ponder!

  32. great list!

    and I completely agree with #5; there are so many blogs with tons of information that isn’t filtered: i.e. boring

    the greats always have a knack for saying interesting things in a concise way

  33. It looks like there are many aspects of creating a great blog site. I think that the most important part is to be persistent with the blogs. It can take a long time to build something from scratch.

    I think that there isn’t one particular way of doing things, however. That is why I like your list of twelve because it can be one or twelve or more to successfully run an informative blog site.

    Finally, the marketing aspect of a blog is important, as you mentioned – SEO is quite an interesting arena for blogs. If SEO is good, good chance to get much traffic. If SEO is bad, marketing the blog sites may be difficult.

    – VentureBlogster

  34. Perseverance is key. As well as focus and being creative. Being informed and curious speaks to the information maven trait. I’m constantly pouring through articles and RSS feeds for the latest happenings, tips, on the topics that interest me or for what may interest my readers. Unless there is passion behind what you are trying to accomplish you will quickly encounter burnout.

  35. IMO the two which make the others work are ‘perseverance & focus’ … They should have been in 1 sentence …

    Without these two, the rest of the qualities will be bottlenecked …


  36. wow…
    nice reviews, great list.
    this keep my passion growing.

  37. Great List! Thanx for keeping me motivated! Whenever I’m upset with my daily activities, I just have a look at you blog. This keeps me motivated.

  38. I think originality is one of the most important parts of being a successful blogger because it helps you stand out from the crowd.

  39. I’m very new to blogging. Read the 12 steps to successful blogging. Very,very cool………………

  40. These are the same traits as some of the best companies outside of blogging so it’s no surprise to me that the same would be true of successful bloggers. In any endeavor the best people are always pushing the button, thinking about how to make things better, how to grow, how to keep the edge against the competition. What makes a great blogger is the person willing to committ to these things with a constant thirst, just like the best athletes, poker players, and CEO’s of our time.

  41. Really funny photo, more than the article.

  42. As I read through those different characteristics, I see a few that I’m good at and many more that I need to work on. Thanks for the post and getting me thinking about myself, AGAIN!

  43. Each point is so matching with images of it. May be I could use some flickr images too on my blog post. You are so inspiring me Darren..

  44. Great list, and I see a lot of that in my own blogging.

  45. As I read through the various comments in this thread, I considered that perhaps some of us could use a source of ideas we can tap into for blogging or other options to make money online. It goes without saying that what ever your choice it should be well suited to you as an individuals.

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    The obvious benefit of this approach is that individuals actually get to see and hear the people behind these successful programs.

    ‘The Real Money Show’, http://www.realmoneyshow.com, is designed to help anyone, with the interest, to find an online business well suited for them and give them the opportunity to live the lifestyle they decide.

    The credibility of this online resource is reinforced by the fact that ‘The Real Money Show’ does not endorse anyone or any particular program.

    These five to ten minute interviews allow people to read, watch, listen, and make an educated decision.

    I hope someone finds this resource of practical value.

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  46. As the author of a newish blog, I found this to be very helpful. Thanks for posting.

  47. Great post! My favorite one is “originality.” So many blogs are highly forgettable – 10 minutes after leaving them you forget you were ever there. Not good.

    I love to see bloggers who set themselves apart from the rest. They’re the ones I’m drawn to.

  48. what a great read!

    useful info especially for someone like me.


    The Struggling Blogger

  49. Great post. Keep it up! :)

  50. Great point! I think the perseverance one is what stand out to me. I have started multiple blogs just to lose interest and give up. I have to keep in mind that blogging is an investment of time, and It’s not by any means a get rich quick scenario. It is just so depressing to log into my adsense account to see $0.00 earned today lol. But I’ve spent a lot of time on my new blog and plan on keeping at it. Check it out and leave any feedback (constructive criticism please). http://.technologycurrent.com
    It’s about current mobile technology. Enjoy

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